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The Brim Reaper (Style & Error Mystery #3)
Diane Vallere
Clementine's Shadow - Peggy Rothschild After moving to the California High Desert for a new start, Deputy Casey Lang faces a hard truth: she must work through her fear of shooting another child or kiss her career goodbye. The disappearance of a six-year-old girl from a summer concert puts Casey's resolve to the test. Casey hunts for a predator in a scorched landscape of played out silver mines and dry riverbeds. As the temperature rises, three unlikely heroes emerge to help. Set in a scorched landscaped of played out silver mines and dry riverbeds, Clementine's Shadow tells the story of a child snatched by a predator and the desperate hunt to find her.

Clementine’s Shadow is a novel that will sneak up on an unsuspecting reader and end with a twist and a bang. The plot begins a little slow and introduces far too many characters to keep organized but push through the set-up because once Rothchild get to the heart of the novel it becomes a mystery very much worth reading. During the first 1/3 of the novel so many characters are introduced to the reader that it becomes a bit burdensome to sort out and remember. Once the characters are fully fleshed out and fall into their role in the story they become easier to identify but they are a bit muddled for a few chapters. The novel would probably be a better read with fewer characters to follow, after all a few of the early characters do seem to simply disappear and are never heard from again, but for Rothchild’s first novel this is great work.

The story and the mystery therein are well-written. Rothchild delicately addresses the subject of child abduction and child predators while still managing to script a deep and intriguing mystery. With so many characters involved in the novel it is a challenge for any reader to solve the who-dun-it before the end. There are simply too many suspects and too many possibilities. In the end, the novel wraps up with a twist that readers won’t see coming and ends with a satisfying conclusion. Reader’s won’t be disappointed when the close the cover on this one!

As mentioned earlier, readers may find this mystery a little bit challenging to get into at the beginning but it’s worth persisting. Once the mystery opens up it becomes a very enticing read! Rothchild’s descriptions of the California desert will transport the reader into Deputy Lang’s world and it’s a journey worth taking.

Review by Ashley LaMar
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